08.02.2013 06:25 AM

The Rob Ford crack video: the truth


“A Crown attorney on the Project Traveller case, Paul Renwick, would not answer questions.

Daniel Brown, Siad’s lawyer, said in an email that ethical and professional obligations prevent him from speaking about anything he may have learned during his time as counsel. “Likewise, my conversations with prosecutors about any of my clients would be protected by the same solicitor-client privilege.”

“Unlike myself, the Toronto Police are not bound by privilege and would be in the best position to answer questions about what evidence is in their possession,” Brown said.

Brown also noted that while he is still the counsel of record for Siad, he is planning to make an application to remove himself from the case, for unspecified reasons.”

There is a thing called Crown Disclosure. The Crown Disclosure rule is that Crown must disclose all material information that is in its possession or control, even if the evidence isn’t going to be called at trial or is inculpatory or exculpatory.

Here’s what I know:

• Siad possessed the video.
• The police got the video when they arrested him, using a search warrant.
• The Crown office was then given the video.
• The Crown disclosed the video to lawyer Brown. He has it.

Will the video come out anytime soon? I don’t know.

But what I do know is this: the video is in the hands of many people, now. And it has been seen by many more. And it shows Rob Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

It is real.


  1. wheeler98 says:

    I wonder….any political connection between Daniel Brown and the Ford family cabal?

  2. Maryam says:

    And how do “know” these to be true?

  3. Mark C. Robins says:

    Well done Warren thank you

  4. wheeler98 says:

    On May the 17th, the Toronto Star ran a follow up story on the Ford crack scandal where Criminal defence lawyer Daniel Brown said (paraphrased) even if a video existed that criminal charges were unlikey to proceed.
    It would also appear that Brown wasn’t too shy about twittering about the Ford debacle.

    And finally…Rob Ford defeated incumbent ward 5 councillor Elizabeth Brown in ’99….any relation perhaps?

    • JimDougBob says:

      There is no relation between former Councillor Brown and Daniel Brown.

      Elizabeth Brown is retired, has left the Megacity, and is no longer involved in politics or government.

  5. Martin says:

    So can we expect another plea bargain to keep this video from being submitted to the public record in court ?

    My gut tells me yes.

  6. Gayle says:

    Brown may have the video bit he does not own it and he’s not free to distribute it. At most he holds it on behalf of his client. If he gets off the record it goes to new counsel.

  7. Ian Welsh says:

    Good on you Warren. Glad to see someone putting it out there.

    Indeed, Ford should sue you and the Star. After all, it’s libel if you’re not telling the truth, hmmm? And he says it’s not true. He could make a lot of money and prove that he’s telling the truth.

    Why doesn’t he?

    Also, would one of the people with the tape release the bloody thing? This is material, not so much because Ford may or may not have smoked crack, but because he’s either lying about it or not and because someone has died.

  8. Scott Tracey says:

    Also curious how you ‘know’ these things to be true. I believe Donovan and Doolittle that the person who showed them the video was Siad, but wonder how you know the police got it when they arrested him.

  9. Lynn Ward says:

    If the crown disclosed the video to Brown, why was it given to the lawyer and not kept by the crown?

  10. AP says:

    What I would be interested to know is if the Crown placed any trust conditions on that disclosed tape. The disclosure belongs to the accused Mr. Siad. If there are no conditions than he could disclose that tape to anybody. If there are trust conditions you’d want to know what they are.

    • marc rosen says:

      Yes… the accused could opt to disclose any crown disclosure he wants ( however his counsel can’t )

      There was this hilarious example of an accused releasing his own disclosure tape – at the behest of the RCMP… But none the less, he was representing himself so he was free to do with the evidence what he pleased… In this case he thought it would be amusing to release on You Tube even before his trial 🙂


  11. jim says:

    Mr. Kinsella,

    These are probably very naive questions but I know there are many others reading this who are wondering something similar. What, if anything, can a member of the general public do to try to get this video pushed into the public light? Do you see any clear ways the video might, or might not, get aired for the public? Lastly, do you think it possible for the video to simply disappear?

    • Warren says:

      It’s up to the media.

      • Jennifer Ross says:

        Hi Warren!

        Thanks for replying to Jim’s good questions, but your response gives me a question in turn.

        You have a column with Sun Media as I understand it. So, aren’t you part of the media? Are you saying it is (partly) up to you? I also recall you are a lawyer. Is that why you would not be part of the media it is up to, if the answer to the prior question is a negative?

        Okay, yes, that is three questions.

      • Mattt Enss says:

        Aren’t you part of the media? Why not report what you know on Sun News?

  12. partrick says:

    Now Warren, how do we know those “many hands” aren’t just Red Star supporters desperate to believe that the video is real and are touting an “obviously” photoshopped video – I mean look what was did to the original Star Wars with photoshop – as being real in an effort to discredit the credibility of the eminently credible Rob Ford. Besides, he’s building subways. Well, is gonna build subways. Or, at least wants to build subways. Shovels in the ground. Subways. Subways. Subways. And you’re a cominist so that’s that.

  13. Dellsun says:

    I know you have no idea WHEN the video would be released, but in your opinion, is it a certainty that it will be?

    For example, after Siad’s trial is over, when the release of a video wouldn’t influence a jury as to Siad’s guilt, is there some reason it would be continued to be kept from the public?

    I can’t imagine any of the players involved (crown, defence, police, etc) could make a compelling legal argument to not release it. Your thoughts?

    • Warren says:

      Siad’s counsel won’t if it harms his case. And they can’t use it as a bargaining chip with the Crown, because the Crown already had it.

      Will it come out soon? Dunno. Eventually? Probably.

  14. marc rosen says:

    Point 1 – TPD / CROWN / FORD all working together ( you will need to do you home work – for the answer as to why they are working together )

    Point 2 – Crown is not obliged to disclose evidence that is irreverent to the charges. Stitchcombe and/or O’connor motions need to be brought. The “relevance” test on such applications is significant… Defense will need to prove relevance of the disclosure they seek… Proving the Mayor smoked crack is irrelevant to the case before the accused so it is likely the judge would rule that applications were “fishing expeditions”

    Point 3 – The fact that Daniel Brown is recusing himself from the representing Siad is very telling… See point 1

    • Point 1 — could they all be part of one secret club? “I’ve got your back, we’re all on the same side” ?

    • Saul Goodman says:

      POINT 2 – Yeah, I don’t know – video shows drug use and may identify associates, provide time based evidence as part of a larger picture. On top of that, Stinchcombe Regime can be fairly easily checked off – we are not talking about third-party disclosure requests that are in themselves fishing expeditions. Also, as Warren has stated, the video has moved through many hands. It’s out in the circles, is relevant, and will now simply await its potential unveiling depending on Defense strategy.

      POINT 1&3 – If only you mattered enough to deserve a libel suit, you’d be worried now.

      • marc rosen says:

        lol… An alleged video, showing what appears to be drug use ( or so we’ve been told ) ( STINKS of a fishing expidition ) … I think the media has already been denied on the grounds of relevance any such success in convincing a court that such alleged evidence is relevant to a drug trafficking charge against Siad – but no one really cares about Siad right ? this is all about ford right ? so relevance is key and likley the Crown would not disclose forthright ( even if they had it ) under Stitnchcombe… Further motions would likely need to be brought !

        Any other creative conjecture as to what makes an alleged video of circumstantial evidence relevant to Siad ?

  15. wheeler98 says:

    In the first few weeks after the story first hit the news; Criminal Defence lawyer Daniel Brown was tweeting his opinions about the video. On May the 17th, he offered his opinion to the Star in a published piece concerning the likelihood of criminal charges coming forward. Now that he is representing Siad; and has reportedly seen the video that is in the crown prosecutor’s possesssion, has Brown inadvertently compromised his client’s case? Is that why he is trying to recuse himself?

  16. Keep up the good work.For all the people who would like this story buried I dare say there are many more that would like to have the whole truth brought forward.If the video depicts what we are led to believe there is a lot more to the story than him smoking crack.This is not just a Toronto story but a national story.I don’t live anywhere near Toronto but I have family there and there is much interest in an open and transparent investigation and judicial conclusion.

    • I am in Halifax… I agree, am starting to feel everyone who runs for maire should be run through a battery of tests beforehand.

      • Chris London says:

        @Patrice Boivin: Limiting candidates to passing ‘a battery of tests beforehand’ would limit who could run for office, which is not a valid or fair practice in a democracy. However, it is practice in an oligarchy, plutocracy, theocracy or aristocracy, just to name a few.

        Some might argue – maybe even somewhat convincingly – that in practice, we already have an oligarchy / plutocracy of sorts in Canada. But in law, we still live in a democracy in which anyone can – and is entitled to – run for and hold public office.

        Rather than limiting who can run, it is the duty of each voter to educate him/herself before marking the ballot and a free media’s responsibility to help educate the voters.

  17. Bruce A says:

    Slow and steady is going to win this race. The public needs more of this sort of reporting, as difficult as it is to do. Hats off to The Star’s Kevin Donovan and Robyn Doolittle for breaking it.

    Keep with it Mr. K. The truth is out there.

  18. marc rosen says:

    This video absolutely should not come to light for all of our best interests ( i know that seems weird – however the TO police and Crown know what is at stake ) … Curiosity killed the cat and unfortunately the Toronto Star unknowingly stepped in some deep shit – inadvertently exposing something that some stupid kids did not realize the gravity of … If we stop the Rob Ford hating – we will begin to see how deep and wide this rabbit hole goes – and why it is perhaps better to leave certain sleeping dogs alone.

    • W the K - No, not Warren says:

      “This video absolutely should not come to light for all of our best interests”

      “If we stop the Rob Ford hating”

      “why it is perhaps better to leave certain sleeping dogs alone”


      What you’ve written is rather cryptic.

      I’m not a lawyer. Are you advocating that the legal process should play itself out completely before this video goes public, or are you saying it should never see the light of day? Are you saying that something big and very bad that runs “deep and wide” should be kept from the public? If so, in whose interest?

      Just seeking clarification, if you are able to provide it.

      • deb s says:

        im with you W@K….why in the world would the city not advocate for the truth…the fords need to be buried and so what if it means a whole bunch more corrupt clowns fall on their swords with them. It will cost millions for the case, the court and the defense…but its well worth it.
        and it sets the stage for the NEXT MAYOR of Toronto.
        WARREN KINSELLA…this mayor dont do crack…lol
        KINSELLA’s your FELLA on signs. and KINSELLA drug free since____ I will use 2000 but he can fill it in as he sees fit:)

    • KJD says:

      Marc, you’re a strange man. I have no desire to hide from the facts at hand here. If there’s a video, it should come out. TPS should be in no position to be weighing the political fallout of it coming to light – it’s patently not their job to be fretting about who looks bad in politics or selectively shielding “important” citizens from the consequences of their actions. If we need a new mayor in the end, so be it. But there isn’t a reason in the world to be as cravenly afraid of “deep shit” and so beholden to our “best interests” as you are being here. It looks like cowardice, not bravery.

      • marc rosen says:

        I’m trying to prod a few of you to look in other / darker and more appropriate directions… Online world is a little to risky for me to get more specific – but if one thinks outside the box they might catch the scent !

        • KJD says:

          Fair enough. Sorry for being so pointed if this why you’re being cryptic.

        • deb s says:

          okay Marc…call me stupid, but the only reason I could see this panning out….as you say, is if Rob Ford was a secret undercover drug narc, trying to help the police dept nail some serious drug lords…and the reporters stepped into a secret operation….lets call it FordRocks. I mean if that comes to light…and Rob Ford is really an undercover superhero helping clean up the streets…21jumpst style…then yeah, for sure lets bury the tape and keep his secret:P

          but hidden shit…corrupt deep shit…should be exposed. I wish you could elaborate for some of us lacking your political astuteness…my law and order episodes dont give me enough legal knowledge to understand why keeping a lid on it is better. Perhaps if you could tell a hypothetical story that mentions no names, no citeis, no real details it will open my eyes.

    • BM says:

      What nonsense.

    • Bre Dal. says:

      I am looking forward to the deepest darkest secrets possible being unearthed. If this came back to implicate the federal Conservatives and the oil companies that control them, who would be upset by that?

  19. Dummy says:

    Knowing that it could be difficult to get access to the video in such event the the owner of it got arrested. Then, is there a chance that he was snitched by someone with vested interest to see this video away at least for some times…

  20. deb s says:

    the sun article states that SIAD and his tape were the reason PROJECT TRAVELLER happened. It also states that the police were kind enough to inform said perps that the raid was all because of the rob ford…the tone suggests the Rob orchestrated it, but not sure. So yeah…dude should have collected his 200K in late may and run for the hills, as now that tape is useless, it doesnt even shave off jail time. Plus I just bet it gets lost in transport to the evidence locker and a big scary blonde neanderthal will be laughing all the way to dixon rd when he needs another bag of crack:P

    • Trevor C says:

      The sun article only says that one resident said “Like they said, like the officers said, the only reason this is happening is because of Rob Ford and I rest my case,”

      I don’t think that means that project traveller was all because of Ford. I think it means that the Ford story caused the police to pull the net sooner than they would have. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were carefully working their way up the chain, wire-style, and Rob Ford screwed the whole thing.

      The video’s existence is approaching undeniability now, and there is a very clear argument for its release in the public interest. I think this is a case where we need to trust the media to represent us, and the courts to act in the best interest of the public. It just takes time, like everything does in the court system, and for good reason.

      • deb s says:

        I hope so! That does sound reasonable, I so wish they had been able to pull the raid off without any hitches and managed to net Rob Ford, hahaha, that would have been even more stunning!

      • deb s says:

        and yeah this does play out like a season of “the wire”, good analogy!

      • Bre Dal. says:

        I wish that I could trust the media and the courts to work in our best interests. I do think what Warren is doing is good. If our expectations and suspicions are raised it is harder to pretend this never happened.

  21. George Tiley says:

    The Long View

    Ah yes, Mohamed Siad, the Maoist-styled monster that destroyed Somalia. O wait, wrong Mohamed Siad. You mean the one charged with participating in a criminal organization, conspiracy, and the trafficking of guns and cocaine.

    Safer to stick to the vanilla propaganda: “Nobody knows whether after arresting Siad morning of June 13 and searching his home, the police recovered the video.” Our gut feeling is that the video has been destroyed. Why? Consider: is this merely the case of the “hillbilly mayor” being randomly caught red handed or, is this an elaborate intrigue to depose an elected official by utilizing the most hardened and amoral criminal operatives as part of a larger Maoist-styled insurgency led by so-called progressives? We tend towards the later theory.

    Rob Ford is evidently a vice-ridden bull-in-the-China-shop who is unfit for service at this level. May we suggest his opponents have eschewed these lesser vices in favour of the darkest lust: power by any means. As a member of the “just watch me” club, you should understand the normal legal framework must be enhanced from time to time.

    • deb s says:

      between you and Marc Rosen I guess Im seeing a picture that could be reasonably stated…political opponents set inmotion a whole range of situations…elaborate con and try to destroy Rob Ford>
      but seriously…it wouldnt need all the crazy games to do so…the guy is a ticking timebomb, a trainwreck. I think with one loud boo behind a door, he would be finished…they dont need to con him to get rid of him:P Heartattacks are cheap why bother going to any sophisticated scheme to get him nailed:P

  22. Hardric Elam says:

    Just wondering if Mohamed Siad was smart enough to copy the video to other devices during the time that he had it on his cellphone. Or would he think it was in his own best interest to keep the one file?

    • bulletproofcourier says:

      You can’t export a video file from a smartphone without configuring a POP3 e-mail server or Microsoft Exchange e-mail address to send it out from. Or you must have a loptop computer to connect to.

      Mohamed Siad had neither, and naively still possessed the original Rob Ford crack smoking video on his smartphone when he was arrested.

      • mrtinfoilsocket says:

        Actually one could easily upload a video to cloud storage from a smartphone and then easily share a link to that with anybody they wanted. It’s not difficult.

      • Trevor C says:

        Uhhh, dropbox automatically uploads every video and picture taken by your phone. Youtube lets you upload directly from your phone. I can think of about 50 ways to get a video off a phone without time travelling back to the 90s and setting up an exchange server.

      • Matthew Yeo says:

        What decade are you living in?

        My Nexus 4 smart phone can attach any video or image I’ve taken with my camera to an ordinary email sent via Gmail. I can upload them all to my Dropbox account, I can export them to my PC and play with them to my heart’s content. I can upload them to all sorts of image and video hosting sites, too.

  23. jack says:

    Marc, Why should this not come to light? Who cares about darker directions, etc. It should all see the light. Cover ups and secrets are NEVER good and all rabbits should be flushed from the hole, no matter how long and deep it is. The average joe never gets to be considered a “sleeping dog” yet we think politicians and others should be allowed to do so? BS. People are tiring of others getting away with many crimes be they going over election expenses, senator expenses, etc etc etc. Dig, dig, dig.

  24. Dave Puotinen says:

    The evidence that the crown has is NOT the property of the crown, nor is it the property of the defence. It is the property of the people, and is used to ensure that justice is done (to paraphrase the Stinchcomb decision).

    • bulletproofcourier says:

      For the benefit of legal laypersons – seeming as this post made the front page of reddit /r Canada – the Stinchcombe decision is this:

      > [R. v. Stinchcombe](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._v._Stinchcombe), [1991] 3 S.C.R. 326 is a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision on the disclosure of evidence in a trial and is considered by most to be one of the most significant criminal law cases of the decade. The Court found that the Crown had a duty to provide the defence with all evidence that could possibly be relevant to the case, regardless of whether the Crown plans to call that evidence at trial or not, or whether it helps or hurts the Crown’s case. This case put to rest the long standing issue of whether the Crown could purposely deny the defence evidence that the Crown found would be harmful to their case.

      Kudos to Mr. Kinsella for pointing out how this applies to the Rob Ford crack smoking video, and what seems to be now a corrupt conspiracy of police and crown authorities to keep the video hidden.

      • Trevor C says:

        Disclosure in this case means “delivery of evidence to the defence attorneys.”

        The material isn’t made public until trial, to avoid biasing potential jurors and causing a mistrial.

  25. JR says:

    Is Rob really the guy in charge, or he just the stupid loud-mouth younger brother put in a higher position of privilege to protect his older brother, who is the real mastermind pulling on the strings?

  26. e.a.f. says:

    Reading about Rob Ford, the question which comes to mind is, will he remain in office. Answer, yes. He is going to hold fast and just keep on staying where he is. it is the best strategy for him. Unless the police come and take him away in handcuffs, he isn’t going anywhere.

    The video, well many may have seen it. Many may have a copy. Everyone in town could have one, but unless it forms the basis for a legal case against Rob Ford it will simply remain an interesting piece of video, with no monetary value. It doesn’t appear any case will be made against Mr. Ford and he can continue as his has been, enjoying being mayor.

  27. Fordist says:

    My money is on the video being released after Rob Ford is re-elected. At which point he will claim it is fake. And the people who elected him are dumb enough to believe that. It will be fun to see how The Sun defend the position that the video is fake. They are a lot of things but dumb isn’t one of them.

  28. Blogger says:

    Warren, the one thing I don’t understand is that the Toronto Sun is reporting that Mohammed Siad is offering to give the video to the prosecution in exchange for charges to be dropped, only the prosecution doesn’t believe the video to exist. These are two opposite theories yours and this one, and are mutually exclusive. What’s your take on it?

    Here is the article: http://www.torontosun.com/2013/08/02/man-stabbed-over-alleged-rob-ford-crack-video

    • ViolentPhlegm says:

      The story doesn’t say that the Crown doesn’t believe the video exists. It says that “they felt they couldn’t corroborate, barring a witness that was there at the time, that Ford was smoking crack in the video”. If anything, this actually suggests that the video DOES exist and they’ve watched it.

      • Precisely, it goes to the crux of it all. A video of someone smoking crack is not definitive proof. Good luck getting a Toronto jury to find no reasonable doubt without a living breathing person to say: “yes, I was there, and I know it is crack in the pipe because…’ So as far as the Police and prospective prosecutors are concerned, the video could be a gag by Ford. And I am increasingly coming to believe that Ford will not suffer much damage even when the video does eventually surface.

  29. Blogger says:

    Warren, another thing. As I understand the media was given access to the warrants on July 2nd. Yet know video was specified. See: http://o.canada.com/2013/07/02/rob-ford-search-warrants/

    One of the media’s lawyers, even after reviewing the search warrant info, states that the warrents do not explicity mention a video. How do you explain this? http://www.torontosun.com/2013/07/19/lawyers-argue-for-search-warrants-linked-to-alleged-mayor-rob-ford-crack-video

    Also somebody made this statement, but I wonder what evidence there is to back the statement up:”

    “Mohamed Siad had neither, and naively still possessed the original Rob Ford crack smoking video on his smartphone when he was arrested.”

    • ViolentPhlegm says:

      First of all, you are confusing (deliberately?) two different sets of warrants. The warrant information that has been released was for the arrest of Hanad Mohamed in Fort McMurray. The warrant indicated that they were searching for a specific black cell phone but does not specifically mention that they were looking for a video on that phone. As far as the report goes, the warrant doesn’t indicate at all what they expected to find on the phone but I don’t think that would be necessary. It’s reasonably understood that cell phones provide lots of information in criminal investigations. (They actually seized 4 cell phones in the arrest.) Regardless, the current discussion is about Siad, not Hanad Mohamed. Incidentally, though, the Canada-wide warrant for Hanad Mohamed was issued the day after the crack video story broke on Gawker.

      The warrant information for Project Traveler is currently sealed, but the Crown has until the end of August to release it. Siad was arrested during the Project Traveler raids.

  30. Stephen Stewart says:

    “Truth is a defence,” says Warren. Well, truth is only a viable defence if you can prove it. This suggests the possibility that Warren may not just have seen the video, but actually has his own copy.

  31. Dave Scarborough says:

    To all of those people, including the local radio show hosts, who claimed there was no video or criticized the use of “unnamed sources” I hope you eat crow and I want to hear you profusely go after Rob and Doug when the video comes out. AND YOU KNOW IT IS COMING OUT. IT IS BEING TIMED FOR MAXIMUM IMPACT.

    The incident in isolation could be forgiveable but both of these guys have so many character flaws and have created so many enemies with their big mouths, especially that Doug, that I hope they get roasted and exposed as to who they really are. From what I hear, the Star is working on it.

  32. lex says:

    how can we believe, where is the proof!

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